Let us be somewhat generous with our thoughts around Canterbury housing stock.
Yes – we have had a significant lift in house quality. Not surprising, given the level of damage the city endured, and the billions of insurance dollars paid to owners. Our local trade-based retailers have fared extremely well, as have many construction firms judging by the number of new, commercial, vehicle sales year on year for the past 6 years.
If we look beyond the surface we should maintain a high degree of concern over the actual quality of the repairs undertaken on our housing stock. The Press has incessantly highlighted these issues with both the EQC opt-out programs, and even more so with the Fletcher contracted (Earthquake Repair) EQR program. Interestingly Fletcher EQR shut down in 2017 and, low and behold, the Earthquake Commission has been ‘surprised’ by receiving thousands of complaints with the need to re-repair many thousands of Fletcher EQR program houses. ‘Blindsided’ is not an acceptable term the EQC should use, given their full knowledge of the issues home owners were having with the Fletcher EQR program. We are a nation faced with enormous costs to fix these issues. EQC should be renamed the “New Zealand Taxpayer-funded Earthquake Re-Repair Program (NZTERRP). Needless to say Risknet Limited would support a full independent investigation into both Fletcher EQR and EQC handling of many thousands of insurance claims.